Circuit Courts Give Robinson-Patman Guidance

Law360, New York (May 11, 2007, 12:00 AM EDT) -- The Robinson-Patman Act has given rise to some truly awful court decisions that have created a seller-buyer environment of sometimes unforgiving price rigidity, as well as complex and difficult-to-comply-with principles about when and to whom sellers must offer price discounts and nonprice promotions.

For example:

• Unlike any other antitrust statute, the Robinson-Patman Act can be violated merely upon proof of a “reasonable possibility” that competition between two buyers might be impaired (the Morton Salt standard).

• The old Fred Meyer case requires sellers to offer...
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